It Costs $36 to Win One Vote in Illinois but Only $18 to Lose One

01/22/2015 01:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Gov. Bruce Rauner spent more than $65 million to win the 2014 Illinois gubernatorial election, according to records filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

More than $50 million of Rauner's campaign spending came after he won a hotly contested, four-way Republican primary in March, with nearly half of that spending coming in the final month of his race against then-Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn, who did not face a serious threat in the Democratic primary, spent more than $30 million in 2014. Almost all of Quinn's spending happened in the final few months leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

In spending $65.4 million to win 1.82 million votes, Rauner spent $35.88 per vote. Quinn spent $30.2 million in 2014 and received 1.68 million votes, spending slightly less than $18 per vote.

By contrast, Quinn spent about $6.1 million in all of 2010, when he faced both a tough primary race and a close general election contest with Republican challenger Bill Brady. That computes to about $3.50 per vote. If all Quinn campaign expenses for 2009 and 2010 are included (about $8.9 million), the cost rises to only $5 per vote in the 2010 general election.

The final quarterly reports for the 2014 election cycle were filed last week with the board of elections and allowed for a full accounting of how much each candidate spent in the critical month before Election Day. In the fourth quarter, which included the month of October, Rauner spent $23.9 million to Quinn's $13.4 million. The vast majority of both campaigns' spending in the final weeks of the campaign -- $13.6 million for Rauner and $9.8 million for Quinn -- was for advertising.

Read the rest at Reboot Illinois to see how the two candidates' campaign spending differed and see spending breakdowns across expenses and time periods.

After that expensive win, one of Rauner's first acts as governor was to remove Chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board Aaron Jaffe from his position. The move filled anti-predatory gambling activist Tom Grey with "shock and disbelief." Grey says Jaffe was an "outspoken" independent regulator during his tenure and Grey expresses concerns about the ability of the Gaming Board to go on operating honestly without him. Read the rest of Grey's worries at Reboot Illinois.

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